A couple of Saturdays ago, the comedian Russell Brand – who is famous for putting small chocolate eggs into his rectum ‘for fun’ – and the TV presenter Jonathan Ross – who is famous for prounouncing ‘R’ as ‘W’ – were discussing an upcoming guest on their radio show. That guest was Andrew Sachs. Andrew Sachs is famous for mocking Catelan waiters. He has a granddaughter, who is a member of a “burlesque” group called the Satanic Sluts.
As it turned out, Andrew Sachs had to cancel his appearance on the show. Brand and Ross then called Sachs. They got his answerphone. They called back on four occasions, leaving increasingly rambling messages. During the course of one of the calls, Brand sang a song in which he sang the line:
I said some things I didn’t of oughta,
Like I had sex with your granddaughter
Russell Brand does, in fact, have sex with a large number of women. I know two women who he has had sex with, as I expect most people do. Indeed, part of Brand’s comedy persona is that he looks silly, but has sex with lots of women, and talks about it.
Nevertheless, it is poor form to tell a 78 year old man that you have had sex with his granddaughter, live on national radio.
This is where things started to get really silly. Various newspapers started to agitate around the issue. People who did not listen to the programme, and who were therefore unaware that Andrew Sachs had a granddaughter who was a ‘Satanic Slut’ who had “slept” with Russell Brand, were put in the picture. Ten thousand of them have complained to the BBC, according to the Daily Mail. The BBC News site has published a “timeline” of the sort that you find in discussions of the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict. OFCOM has launched an inquiry.
My gut tells me that this is a slight overreaction.
What is a huge overreaction is this:
PM Gordon Brown has criticised Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross for their “inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour” on Brand’s radio show.
He said the BBC must take “appropriate action” over a series of prank calls made to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, and broadcast on 18 October.
Conservative leader David Cameron has called for the BBC to be “transparent” about how the programme came to be broadcast.
“The main question is why did they allow this programme to be broadcast, given that it was pre-recorded?
“So we need to know who made the decision to broadcast it? How high up the editorial chain did it go?”
Yet the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition appear to be focussing on a prank phonecall made by one comedian to another.
Now this is a funny prank.
I have only just remembered this. Here is the hapless twosome – joined by David Walliams – explaining to an angry crowd, that Morrissey will not be completing his gig.
Brand is our Lenny Bruce!
Here is the offending show.